Monday, June 26, 2017

Hopping Fast Through Oregon

Sunday, June 25
We have not blogged for two weeks. We have been busy - just no time to write. Conversation, food, margaritas, projects, the usual, just more intensive.

The weather was perfect when we got to Carson City. After a week, it was winter like for a day or two. One day, the high was only 50 with dark clouds. The mountains got more snow. Then the temps returned to perfect. Most days, as the valley heats up, the cooler air descends from the Sierra Nevada. Sometimes with gusts of 30mph.

We spent four days in one of our usual haunts in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada near Markleville.
We got to knock off three more passes across the mountains. Well, that not quite right, Ebbetts was closed due to road damage from the winter storms. But, we went as high as we could. Definitely not a road for an RV, only 1.5 lanes wide and unlined. Monitor Pass was not really worth the gas. I think it was only built to give access to Ebbetts. Carson Pass, you remember Kit, was totally different from Ebbetts. Great scenery and lots of boondocking places. There remains only one pass we have not driven.

Monitor Pass

Dorothy protesting the closure of Ebbett Pass
West Fork of The Carson River On The Way to Carson Pass

After the second session of perfect weather, it turned hot and the forecast was for more heat. We decided to make an escape north.

How hot was it? So hot the water from the cold tap was hotter than from the hot water side. It was one the rare times when we were hooked up to city water. I had filled the tank and did not want to have to re-do it, so I connected the 50-foot black hose to the city water inlet. It really confused me when the water from the cold tap was hot. How could that happen? The hot water showed to be 90 degrees. But, the sun heating the water in the black hose was much warmer.

After Carson City, we spent two nights in an out of the way place in NW Nevada. We saw an occasional vehicle on the way there. It was an unusual BLM campground with a hot spring pool. Showers too. And free.

85 Degree Hot Spring

When we arrived we were a little surprised to see several rigs parked. We were more surprised to learn that we were the only ones there that were not digging for opals. In the middle of a wildlife refuge, there is a mining district - opals only. People come from all over to dig here. We stopped by two of the mines to see what all the excitement was about. At one, you dig in the face of a cliff. Hard work. At the other mind, you get three cubic yards of dirt for only $600 to pick through. Maybe you get lucky. But, $600 is a lot to pay for some dirt that you can only be picked through for one day.

 One Of The Private Mine Sites

Several Owners And Some Not Inexpensive Equipment

We looked at the opals on display and we were not impressed. One, a little larger than a marble, was priced at $5,000. I have no idea what is was really worth, but I would not have paid more than $30 for it. Black opals from Australia might command such a price. Not these.

A Delightful Mountain Lake

What Was Behind Me When I Took The Picture Above - "Death Valley"

The heat caught up with us, so we headed north. We spent one night in Lakeview at a working ranch in the south end of Oregon and another night at the Madras Fairgrounds which is mid-state. Both 100 degree days. The map shows it’s hot all over the US.

Monday, June 26
We are a little disappointed that we missed going back to some favorite places in Oregon, but having no schedule and no reservations you get shut out sometimes. We missed the Cowboy Dinner Tree, Lake Paulina, and Crux Brewery - where the beer is OK and the sandwiches are divine.

So in only two days we made across Oregon and landed at a COE park on the Washington side of the Columbia River.

Mount Adams 70 Miles In The Distance

I wanted to tour the Hanford reactor, but it would mean getting there by 8 in the morning or waiting until Thursday. The latter would probably trap us in Richland for the holiday weekend. I think it’s best that we will escape into rural Washington for the holiday.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Carson City

First A Few more from the Alabama Hills

 Our Free Climbing neighbor

Convict Lake

 The Hot Springs Of The Owens River

 Where Hoards Of Mosquitoes Live On Owens River

Convict Lake

Carson City

Wednesday, May 31
The sky was fully overcast when we woke up and stayed that way until late afternoon. It was slightly cool, but it looked like winter. We went to the hot springs and found they were just as we left them in 2007.

The map showed wetlands between the springs and the White Mountains, so we continued east from the springs. The marsh area reminded me of similar places in the Cascades of Oregon. Just as I started taking pictures we were engulfed by a swarm of mosquito like bugs. We retreated to the Jeep, but when I opened the door hundreds of the suckers proceeded us inside. It took over an hour to coach all of them out. There was the scent of sulfur in the air from the springs, so perhaps these bugs were attracted to it.

We checked out the trail to a waterfall in the Ansel Adams Wilderness. It’s only two miles from the trailhead or four miles round-turn. Over my capabilities. Still, I wanted to do it. I located a review of the trail and it made up my mind. The reviewer said it took him 90 minutes to get there and it’s uphill all the way. I knew I could not do 90 minutes starting at 8,700. And so it goes. I found a picture of the falls online and it was no big deal.

After lunch, we got bored and drove into Mammoth Springs and looked at the not so good looking homes. All are on small lots, so you can reach out your window and touch your neighbor's house. In the evening, we watched episodes from season two of Fargo and season one of Boardwalk Empire.

Thursday, June 1
Sun and blue skies today. Dorothy has altitude sickness and I am not feeling all that great myself. Time to get off the mountain. I pushed myself to put my kayak in the lake and I am glad I did. It’s a very photogenic lake. The water is clear as it’s totally fed from snow melt.

Friday, June 2
North on 395, unhooked, as we had two steep grades to pull and we are over 7,000 feet. [At this elevation our combined weight exceeds the chassis rating] KoKo seemed excited to be free of the Jeep and saw two CHP’s give her the eye when she passed them going a little over the speed limit.

We got down to Carson Valley and parked at our friend's house. I opened the box with the step I ordered and found it was not what I needed. I called Lazy Daze and they are going to send us one. But, it will not arrive until next week. So our stay here is going to be extended. We have lots of chores to catch up on, lots of restaurants and time to enjoy our friends.

Saturday, June 3
The pump kept running and we did not hear it for awhile over the road noise. That was yesterday. The pump was working fine this morning until I turned on the shower to rinse out the shampoo the second time. No water. I hooked up to city water and finished my bath. Before I could towel off, Dorothy tells me the stove will not light.

I figured no worries on the pump, as I carry a spare. I discovered the spare was not one I wanted to install. The real spare must be at home.

Sunday, June 4
I think I found the problem I have been having with the negative battery terminal being loose in the Jeep. Found the Jeep transmission fluid was down almost a quart. But there is no evidence of a leak. Aliens again. The good news keeps on coming.

Monday, June 5
Discovered I had the spare water pump all along. I hooked it up and all is well. Later our friend took the pump apart and found some gunk on the pressure switch, cleaned it and it works again. The pilot light in the oven now lights again. Gremlins.

Tuesday, June 6
Have no idea what I did.

Wednesday, June 7
Cooked spaghetti sauce. Devine! Washed the Jeep. Ran some errands, downloaded some TV shows.

Thursday, June 8
Got the step installed. It was made a lot easier with John’s help. Went to the rifle range and found I really can't hit much with my automatic anymore. Going to have a new front sight put on so I can see it. I do pretty well with the .45 cannon. We both had fun shooting the M and P 15-22. The local news came out to the range to do a piece on shooting in places that are safe from starting wildfires. We were on the local news. They have had three fires started this week from people shooting in the field. It's DRY here and always a breeze.

Friday-Sunday, June 9-11
What we have been doing is a blur.

Car shows, gun shops, great restaurants, chores, etc. We like Carson City.

 It took a long time to see and read all the things this guy did to his build.

We had the stove checked out. No problem found and it has been working normally since. We have gremlins.

Cool weather the last few days. Highs in the 60's, lows in the 40's. And a moderate to a strong breeze. 

Two Yellow Ford's - Take Your Pick